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The Fenians And Impact On Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick)

2003 words - 9 pages

History 2340 Research Essay
History 2340 Research Essay



Anthony Ward A00312671
This essay discusses The Fenians’ history, motives and the impact they had on the Maritimes area to shape the region known today.

March / 07 / 2011
Anthony Ward A00312671
This essay discusses The Fenians’ history, motives and the impact they had on the Maritimes area to shape the region known today.

March / 07 / 2011

Introduction: Who are the Fenians?
The term Fenianism was ...view middle of the document...

The Brotherhood was dismantled and Stephen escaped and fled to The United States, where achieving Ireland’s freedom rested squarely on The American wing of The Fenian Brotherhood.

Fenians` “threat” towards British North America
The third annual meeting for The Fenians ended with a bitter split within The Fenian Brotherhood:
1) Under John O`Mahony original leadership which sees the only course of action would be within Ireland.
2) The `men of action` under William Randal Roberts` leadership. These `men of action` saw O`Mahony as too reluctant to take action against The British and argued that the best course of action would be to capture The Province of Canada (at the time, Ontario and Quebec), then using the captured land as base of attacks against Britain and its interests.
British authorities took threats from both factions seriously and suspended the right to basic
Civil rights in Ireland, in effort to avoid violence and unrest. Reaction to this suspension was immediate in The United States: The Brotherhood needed to take a direct action against The British instead of just planning rebellion in Ireland.
O’Mahony’s Party elected to seize Campobello Island in New Brunswick, than use this new position to attack Britain’s naval interests while counting on the people of New Brunswick for support (the Fenians assumed they would get rapid support because of The Irish background in New Brunswick). The Fenians also hoped to take advantage of the strained relationship between Maine and New Brunswick during the American Civil War.
Newspapers and public interest made this attack seem like a major threat: for example The Toronto Globe claimed that the Fenians are heavily armed and they would soon embark on a wave of violence. The Orange Order accused all Roman Catholics to be Fenians or potential Fenians. The New Brunswick Government had to finally act against the perceived threat.
Lieutenant Governor Gordon feared the crisis could divide New Brunswick. He travelled the province while ridiculing the idea that all Catholics are Fenians.
Archbishop Thomas Connaly of Halifax denounced Fenians in New Brunswick and sent a letter to Saint John Globe urging Catholics not to support Fenians. A direct impact of his actions is unknown but after the later crisis, Fenian support in New Brunswick is minimal.
The newspapers in both the United States and New Brunswick had been following events within the Fenian Brotherhood for months. The coverage, a sensational and confusing mixture of fact, opinion and exaggeration, intensified when the plans to invade Canada and to seize Campobello Island were unveiled.
Lieutenant Colonel Grierson, the garrison commander at Saint John, placed his men on high alert and telegraphed Halifax requesting a British warship be sent immediately to protect the harbour. The recently installed telegraph network helped spread the panic to Fredericton, Woodstock, and other New Brunswick communities. Even the Boston Pilot...

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